Sunday, April 30, 2006

WordPlay on "C"
collector of antique linen lace
so fine period clothing
capes & caps in a closet
cloth in a stash
for quilts & kindred comforts
cotton candy at summer fairs
calla lily in a green & white garden
Christmas coats & clarks, sewing thread corkscrews chardonay & chablis
champagne ohh la la
calendula, edible herb on
crisp lettuce
Crispin of daydreams
creative catalyst
WordPlay on "B"
blue bayou
blue period, Picasso
beach, life can be
so beachy
bunions~~ bunions?
bubble baths
beats on the road with
bette midler
& never bored
I've joined the WordPlay group and this is my first free association
with the letter "A" ~~~ a good creative exercise.

Amy, first~born, beautiful named for * Amy of Meg & Jo & I was in love with Little Women * * Anthony ~ my true love is my first grandchild * Anais, feminine erotica & Henry's Amour * Anne as in Patricia Anne, named by my father (I could have been a "Diane" you know) * Alter Ego as in 5'9" long leggy brunette day dreams * Annie H & W Alan a perfect 1970s combo; I knew all the dialogue after multiple viewings * Ample at post-midlife * Alan, a renaissance man * Affinity VIW very important word * Alice Walker The Color Purple & so much more * A Shower of Summer Days ~ a Sarton favorite * As Time Goes By a song from the big war a favorite BBC sit-com with Dame Judy Dench * That's Amore & I am dating myself again * Arbor Inn fabulous b&b a 5-week house-sit favorite stay for distant visitors * Astro as in physicist as in Joann daughter-in-law from Wales * artstream * Art-ful * Art-filled * Artist * Atelier = Attic * Alpha is first * Apples in August mom always carried salt in a shaker on rides in the country "stop the car, Bob" she'd say jump out grab tart not-juicy Apples from someone's orchard we'd speed away as she sprinkled salt on the crunchy-tart Apples * Artichoke leaves and heart lemon-y butter & heaven is an * Avocado salsa guacamole San Antonio Alamo
And That's Enough . . .

No postings since Wednesday. Larry whisked me away for several lovely days in a b&b.

We drove down the coast, went to an auction on Thursday night ~~ one that we love for its theater as much as anything else; had a wonderful Italian dinner on Friday night; and, an evening of folk music at the first annual NH Folk Festival on Saturday evening when we returned.

We took the lap top with us: but the digital world somehow just didn't fit the room ~~~ the view~~~ the ambiance.

Our room looked on the ocean through a french door and a tiny balcony. A 4-poster bed with a white quilt surrounded by white wicker furniture. Fabulous breakfasts (like French Toast with Creme Brulee). Ahhhh.

I packed the new fabric collage for embellishment. But what I really did was sea-gaze. At the diamond-glistening surf ~ ~ at a lighthouse nearly beyond sight ~ ~ at 5:40 wake-ups by the sun rise. Just so heavenly.

And so today. This fabulous spring-sunny-day. A glorious day. For just taking my ease, for easing into projects and taking a walk. Will roast a chicken for dinner tonight, stuffed with oranges and served with rice and asparagus. A salad. A chocolate torte for dessert.

And that's enough.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

While browsing Artella on-line this morning,
I found this inspirational quote.

It is for my sister, Donna, who is recovering from surgery to remove a cardiac sarcoma at Beth Israel - Deaconess Hospital in Boston. She has heart; no lack of courage; an artist's sensibility and sensitivity. Has shown her work in group shows and one-woman shows in various venues, among them the Worcester Art Museum. Wife to Tim, Mom to Sarah who is in her first year of studies in Studio Art at BU. Sister to 5, daughter and friend. A beautiful woman who has created a beautiful art-ful art-filled life.

Have you discovered,

I followed a link on someone's blog about 10 days ago
Voila! Eureka!
What a discovery. Artella is a magazine, an e-zine, a chat room; they publish a newsletter and offer on-line workshops and classes. It's a book shop and outlet for art supplies. And much more. They offer a free trial of one issue, Vol 5, I think. Anyway, it is packed-up full of good stuff. Check out their new MAGICAL MINI QUILT Creative TWIST .
It is a lovely clear spring day here. Blue sky. Oh, little crisp this early morning with temps in the mid-forties. But the day bodes well for sun and spring activities.
Perhaps, the return of spring weather is what motivated my stint of cleaning yesterday. Whatever .... the rooms are clutter-free. I opened the windows and brought in light and good clean fresh air. Feels good. Looks good.
I am still organizing my studio: adding new storage units for fabric & antique linen. But last night I got seduced by a cluster of fabric left from a project or two or 3 or more. Who knows! Found a new palette; created a new arrangement; into the mix went some vegetable-dyes from my garden.
I think I've got something going here. Haven't taken any photos but will do and put them into the blog'o'sphere.
And still enjoying vaca from work. It is now 10:06 EST. Oh, I'm dressed, yes. But enjoying a lazy second cup of coffee with my lemon curd on toast. And surfing the blog'o'sphere. . . . adding myself to it.
Have a peaceful wonderful loving day!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

"What", you may ask, "
did she do on her day off?"
"Did she spend the day on
something terribly worthwhile?"
"Something that she will recall
in the months and years ahead?
The answer is "No" two times over
I cleaned the bedroom. And the bathroom.
While the sun disappeared and was replaced by an overcast sky that threatens rain.
Put a pot of soup on the stove to simmer.
At least that is good for the soul.

Finally! Spring has re-sprung.

This is school break: I am director of development at the Monarch School of New England. The school is a small private facility for students with very special needs. . . a wonderful school with a terrifically talented and dedicated staff. I love working there.

Oh, but how wonderful to be home sitting here with coffee, in my PJs, writing and surfing the blog-o-sphere. The day is mine, all mine, I say!

This morning I happened upon a fabulous blog: the department of me. An Aussie living in Cairo - a quilter. Lots of text but splendid photostreams.

Oh, this photo? It was taken on Appledore early last summer in Celia Thaxter's Garden.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sur·ly (sûrli) adjective
sur·li·er, sur·li·est
surli adv.
surli.ness n.
1. Sullen; 2. Ill-humored and gruff
3. Threatening; 4. Arrogant
5. Domineering; 6. Haughty

A challenge from ~~ Make weekend art. Mount it on your blog by Monday, midnight.
What is your surly girl side?
What's mine?
Would I admit to one?
Would you?
Read a Canadian report on the life expectancy of surly people:
The report notes also that "Traditionally, mean women have a life expectancy less than their male counterparts . . . But since women have started taking on the habits of men such as cursing out the mechanic who fixes their car, they've begun to live longer".
WOW! Check it out.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Jig' a wot'
1 Billion watts of power
This little quilt began with orphan blocks from a class with Diane Hire
I was thinking about ATCs & cut the blocks
& played with the pieces until I saw possibilities
I collaged the pieces onto flannel
using raw edge appliqué to hold them in place
And said goodbye to the ATCs
The project was inspired by memories of Texas in February:
Glitz-y cowgirls
Dale Chihuly sculptures

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman
whistles far and wee
and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s
when the world is puddle-wonderful
the queer
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
balloonMan whistles
e.e. cummings

I took these photos on Appledore Island last June.

We took a boat from Seabrook, my mother and I, to visit Celia's Garden ~~ Celia Thaxter, that is. The garden is maintained by the loving hands of seacoast women who regularly travel the 9 miles out to sea to re-create and care for Celia's Garden. They've returned it to the original design and plan and beauty just in front of where her house once stood.

It was mid-June when we took this little excursion to the 19th century: peaceful & quiet; antique buildings; boats moored and moving; lobstermen tending their traps. No cars, radios, TVs. No newspapers. No cellphones. Only the birds, bees, sky above and thoughts within. Other visitor's recognize and respect that this is a retreat for the soul.

These nine Islands are Soul-Making.

We were celebrating my mother's 82nd birthday all that week. Enjoying her company. She joined us in strawberry picking in Hampton Falls. We went shopping and out to lunch; Larry took us out for dinner sampling new restaurants along the coast. Feasted on lobster.

The day we went to Appledore was warm. A picture perfect day with lots of early summer flowers a-bloom in the garden.

Today, tho' only April, is reminiscent of that June day. Our little gardens are awash of pastel today with daffodils and hyacinth, tulips on the way and poppies budding. And the fragrance of hyacinth. As scent-ful as lilacs.

What delight after the long winter days of New England.

On a practical note. My car is in the shop for the day. Larry and his Dad are on their way to Boston's City Hall Plaza to see the circus (wow! it must be spring!). I am on my way to my studio.

My little trip to the studio is to clean-sweep winter's clutter. I cannot work in clutter, need large empty spaces and things put away in their rightful spots and easily found when I reach for them. Today, this does not describe my little studio. But this is day 3 of the effort and perhaps by evening the description will be apt. And I can work again.

I recently finished a small project. But not in the studio. In my kitchen with many starts and stops: a fabric collage intended for beaded embellishment. My kitchen table was conducive to the work but even the cleared space did not alleviate the self-doubts as I picked out beads and re-sewed them.

I hate the self-doubting: Is it good? Enough? A good design? Does it work? Will it work? Should I abandon the project? Is it finished? How will I know? I hate it but I persist in doubting. Why?

And finally it is done. I know it. It is hung in a small show and when I saw it hung, was mostly pleased.

Then all the way home I am re-designing for "next time". And what if I had.......

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

All images are photo transfers. I used layers of fabric, lace, beads, buttons, quilling, stamping, silk and cotton. These three pages complete the journal I made for Amy.

Woman and Horse . . . . . .
A fabric journal that I enjoyed making and giving was one that celebrated my daughter, Amy, and her horse, Cayden, a 4 year old standard bred.

Amy always loved horses. When she was 9 we moved to a house in a small town in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts. Our home was next to a horse farm. In exchange for riding lessons, Amy mucked out the barn and picked rocks in ring. That's dedication!

We rode together some as Amy was growing up. But I was never as avid a horse-lover as Amy. A few years ago, Amy became quite determined to own her own horse. The fabric journal was made to honor that process ~~ her desire, her search and determination.

These are a few of the pages that I made and presented to Amy for birthday last year.

Monday, April 10, 2006

I've been intrigued with some of the mail art I've been seeing. So when Larry and I retreated to Star Island last September, I packed supplies and materials for collage.

These images are the result of that experiment.

The execution of these little 4X6 pieces is challenging; I usually work BIG ~~~~ well, bigger than a postcard anyway.

I found an unused room at the back of the Oceanic where I set up my portable studio. It was an out-of-the-way spot with no interuptions. There was a folk song workshop nearby that I could eavesdrop on and that was pleasant.

And so I passed several hours over a couple of days in blissful, solitary pursuit.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The twins finally arrived! Ari and Noah, each over 7 pounds and both about 20 inches. I was longing to see them and so on Saturday we made an excursion to Massachusetts to spend the afternoon with Ari Robert, Noah Carl, their big sister Esther who is four and a half and the very proud parents.

We traveled along Route 101 on the return trip today stopping here and there as spirits moved us. One stop was in Wilton at a jewelry maker whose shop is called Sophisticated Stones. She does lovely work, especially her right angle beading.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

"I am a woman of wisdom, strength and grace.
And this is true."

So reads the first page of a fabric art journal that I made to celebrate my mother's life.

My mother, Doris, was the 4th of 10 children; born in 1923. Her mother's death in 1932, her father's lingering despair, the Great Depression and World War II were the defining events of her young life.

The first photo is a picture of my mother, some of her siblings, her father and stepmother. It was taken in late 1930. To create the page, I used layers of fabric, silk ribbon and beads; couching and embroidery; lace and found objects.

The second photo, also from the journal, is entitled, Sea Goddess, Sea Blue Goddess. My mother's name has origins in Greek mythology. Lots of reference to the sea. My mother was a strong and avid swimmer; I loved the connection to the mythic story. It was fun and challenging to depict the "underworld" with silk ribbon, beading, quilting, applique and stencil.

Creating the page with my mother in her wedding gown was done with layers of fabric ~~ white on white satiny polyblend appliqued with my mother 's photo and overlaid with sheer curtain fabric. On this page, I also beaded, quilted and embellished with ribbon and used faux pearls as well.

All the photos were transferred to fabric using freezer paper, my computer and printer.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Not only is this my real birthday, it is my birth day of blogging. Two friends, Susan and Sherry both have started blogs. Piqued my interest.

But a blog? Well, I knew about blogging, of course, from the daily news and the impact of bloggers on traditional journalism. But that was all I knew until I started surfing blogs. What a relevation!
So this is my beginning. I hope to use this space to share drafts & ideas & finished work. I'd love to get feedback and commentary.

Oh! and the picture was taken last summer on Star Island where Larry and I retreat each September. I was in the Oceanic working on ATCs - collaged postcards.